Marketing your consulting business: 5 not-so-surprising marketing tips used by consultants to generate revenue

Today I want to talk about the sales and marketing aspects of consulting. I have studied some of the successful consultants and how they grew their business. I talk to everyone I can and observe heavily. Interestingly, consultants really have embraced and ultimately thrived using a lot of the current hot marketing tactics especially content marketing, inbound marketing, and social. If you want to know if a marketing tactic works or not, check out consultants who won’t eat that month if they don’t drive business. If they are doing it, it’s worth noting.

1. Create content — I believe in content marketing. Actually, I live it (I am actually writing this post at midnight…). We wouldn’t have been able to start our business so quickly without content marketing. Most of our leads come from this very blog and now our TOPO blog. You write content, content gets shared, content builds the brand, and people find you. Content marketing is also critical for pipeline acceleration — people that don’t know you initially, can easily go online and see your expertise and street cred in real time. Your credibility level increases by virtue of your great content. Social proof Look, I am like you, I am not interested in reading another post on why you need content marketing…but I see it working for us and for a lot of consultants out there is the market. When I was starting the business, Matt Heinz from Heinz Marketing gave me this advice: “Start writing”.

2. Write a book — The people that write books have basically executed a timeless consulting content marketing play. You don’t have to look far to see what a well-received book can do for your business. Ardath Albee has created a big business for herself and all the business comes to her. She credits being a published author as one of the main channels for this inbound lead flow. Jill Konrath is another great example. I go on site to customers and her book is sitting on their shelves. That’s a winner.

3. Do everything you can to build your thought leadership profile — What #1 and #2 come down to is thought leadership. Thought leadership = revenue. Until you have a big enough name, don’t charge for speaking engagements. For example, speaking at vendor or media company webinars allow you to share your expertise and someone else is on the hook to bring the traffic. The key question should be: Who is the target audience? If they fit your target buyer persona, go. For a consultant, speaking engagements are the best deal out there. Another way to build your thought leadership profile (and site traffic) is to guest blog. Guest blogging allows you to show your expertise to a new audience. Same rule applies to guest blogging as speaking: Who is the target audience of the blog? If it’s yours — then do it.

4. Get email addresses — Emails are the new black. Vendors and media companies have been collecting email addresses for years. Top consultants are in the game now. Bottom line, email remains the best channel for getting your content into people’s hands. Here is what many consultants do: For webinars, their stipulation is typically access to the registrations. As well, if you are creating great content consistently — then build your site to capture emails. The resurgence of pop-ups is almost exclusively a by-product of web properties hoping to get visitor’s email addresses. Get the email address and then nurture people. For an example, check out Neil Patel’s site — here is a guy who is one of the masters of SEO and one of his core strategies is to get email signups to deliver his content.